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Student loan debt is an issue that many American citizens struggle with, but President Joe Biden proposed a forgiveness policy.
On Wednesday, however, a group of Republican-led states argued that the policy should be put on hold while the lawsuits surrounding it plays out.
Additionally, they pointed out that the Biden administration has extended the pause on student loan payments.
Republican states received an appeals court order to block the implementation of the program.
They said the extension shows the injunction in place would cause no harm.
In a new filing, Republicans wrote:
“The Department [of Education] can point to no emergency or imminent harm because, just yesterday, the agency extended the payment pause on student loans until the summer of 2023.”
Read also: President Joe Biden announces decision to cancel $10,000 of federal student loans
Federal student loan payments were scheduled to resume in January after a one-year pandemic hiatus.
However, on Tuesday, the Biden administration said the pause extends to 60 days.
The extension occurs when the ongoing litigation over the pardon program is resolved.
Payments resume after 60 days if the program is not implemented and the dispute is not resolved by June 30.
Wednesday’s filing comes in response to a Biden administration request that the Supreme Court struck down the student debt relief program.
The program would forgive up to $20,000 in loans to individual borrowers who have earned less than $125,000 in 2020 and 2021.
Republican states also blamed the government’s reliance on the pandemic as an excuse to mask Biden’s goal of fulfilling his campaign promise to pay off student loan debt.
Biden’s student loan policy was supposed to start this fall.
However, the United States Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit blocked it in a lawsuit filed by the following:
- South Carolina
The Circuit alleges that Miguel Cardona, Secretary of the Department of Education, went beyond his authority to write off individual debts in implementing the program.
They also allege that the department violated administrative law by launching the policy.
Additionally, states point to a Texas federal judge’s ruling in a separate case that overturned the student loan policy.
The administration, in turn, filed an appeal with the US 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.
According to Wednesday’s filing, the ruling will remain in effect even if the Supreme Court decides to lift the suspension.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration is suggesting to take the case to the Supreme Court if the 5th Circuit allows the ruling to be overturned.
Read also: Despite the option to opt out, one lawyer is filing a lawsuit against Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan
The student loan program
US Attorney General Elizabeth Prelogar argued in the Supreme Court petition that suspending the program would leave millions of economically vulnerable borrowers in limbo.
Moreover, they do not know the amount of their debt and may be unable to make financial decisions without understanding their future repayment obligations.
Prelogar also said the program is a legal effort to ensure borrowers affected by a national emergency are not worse off on their student loans.
GOP-led states press Supreme Court to keep Biden student debt forgiveness on hold